US Navy warship

The US Navy has successfully tested the new electronic warfare battle management (EWBM) for surface defence system, which is designed to transform the future of electronic warfare and defence of ships at sea.

Sponsored by the US Office of Naval Research (ONR), the EWBM system is being developed under the ONR’s future naval capabilities programme.

The system had been put through an extensive demonstration during the 2014 Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise held in July.

During the exercise, it was deployed by multiple ships from the US and coalition partners to support several electronic warfare missions against a variety of threats.

The EWBM has been designed to help sailors and marines coordinate electronic countermeasure responses against inbound threats in a faster manner than traditional voice communications. The system can also reduce the need to respond with expensive munitions.

Military personnel can use it on ships and in aircraft to share information digitally about adversary sensor and radar threats, while making use of available communication networks.

"Electronic warfare is about controlling and using energy, while taking away our adversary’s ability to use it."

Subsequently, naval forces can coordinate countermeasures both onboard and remotely with the help of automation software.

ONR electronic warfare programme officer David Tremper said: "Electronic warfare is about controlling and using energy, while taking away our adversary’s ability to use it.

"With this system, sailors and marines will be able to exchange spectrum and threat information between platforms, so they can make more informed decisions in situations where time and accuracy are crucial."

In order to make improvements to the system based on fleet requirements, the US ONR will continue to work with partners at the Navy’s Program Executive Office (PEO) Integrated Warfare Systems and PEO command, control, communications, computers and intelligence.

Image: A US Navy warship. Photo: courtesy of the Office of Naval Research.

Defence Technology